The Italian name for salt cod
Baccala is the Italian name for salt cod, which is imported to Italy mainly from Norway.
It is made by splitting whole cod, then salting them for around 10 days, which draws out much of the moisture in the fish.
Preserved in this way, the fish will last for up to a year, and it is this longevity which made it the preserved fish of choice for areas far from the sea in the days before refrigeration.
Before use, the baccala should be soaked in cold water for up to 12 hours, which removes any excess saltiness and also tenderizes the fish.
There are hundreds of uses for baccala, as once refreshed in water it becomes very similar to the fresh fish, although with a firmer texture.